Brain-Building (aka Expanding Your Horizons)

[Noun; ~ Pronunciation: /breyn bil-ding/]

  • Definition: In order to keep growing as a person, one needs to stay open for things that are seemingly not interesting. E.g.: listen to music that’s not initially what you’d choose to listen to, or buy clothes you would not deem “your thing.”
    brain-building“The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office”
    – Robert Frost –

If anyone had asked me about my favourite type of music three years ago, I’d have told them it was pop music only, that Mika was my hero and I’d never in a million years listen to dance or trance and enjoy myself.

The thing is, you have a certain idea of who you are, and this image comes with limitations and boundaries; “I like pop music so I must only ever listen to that – I’ll never enjoy anything else.” But what if you’d stop thinking like that and just put on, say, jazz music? Or metal? Or rock, or just about anything else you’d never imagine yourself appreciate? I think you’d be surprised at what you’d find.

My ex-sport buddy has asked me to join her for two weeks of working out for free at her gym. It’s part of a deal where a member can bring a friend, and since we used to work out together for about four to five times a week and had tons of fun, I thought: why not?

But now my brains are getting cranky, because she’s invited me to a group class tonight I never would have joined myself: Body Combat. This class is offered by Les Mills, who also developed Body Pump.

One rainy day I took a look around their website, checking out the different exercise classes they offered. I found a short introduction video of Body Combat and instantly hated it. I am not keen on anything tae bo, boxing, martial arts-like, etcetera. Watching it happen on a screen is one thing, but I’m not really excited about going down that road myself.

My brains are still clinging on to this negative idea, which is going to make enjoying tonight’s class a challenge.

But that’s were brain-building comes in. Instead of focussing on building our body into a shape we love and admire, maybe we ought to do the same with out brains. If you never try something new and always close yourself off from things you imagine you’ll hate, how can you grow as a person? How can you say you hate a certain type of food without ever having tried it? How can you exclaim you hate the beach if you’ve never been there? How can you conclude climbing a mountain isn’t your thing if you’ve never even set foot on one (or laid eyes on one, like here in the Netherlands), or horse-riding, or canoeing?

If you want to find out who you are, you have to do so by trying new things every once in awhile, and not by casting them off as “not your thing”  beforehand. Sure, some preferences are set in stone, but most are not. So go out there and live a little! Do some out-of-the-box things and amaze yourself!

I am going to tonight’s class with an open mind, despite disliking the video. And who knows, maybe they’ll even play some dance music I can enjoy 😉

Edit: I went. I had fun. I had a good work out. But now I am 100% convinced Body Combat is not my thing.

6 thoughts on “Brain-Building (aka Expanding Your Horizons)”

  1. I spent years trying to find out who I was, then one day I ran into a guru. He asked to see my drivers license. He looked at it for a few moments, then handed it back to me, with these words. “This will tell you who you are and where you can find yourself.”

    I told one of my friends about this amazing revelation, and my friends said, “Are you sure he wasn’t just a panhandler?”

    Everyone recognizes a “Good Idea”, but a “Great Idea”, will it is hard to tell a “Great Idea” from a “Dumb Idea.”

    I guess it is also like that with a “Guru” and a “Panhandler”, it can be hard to tell them apart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s actually quite wise, Bill. Maybe that is all you need, indeed. Why look for yourself everywhere when you are right here?


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